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October 2007

Coca-Cola to recycle or reuse all its plastic bottles

Coca-Cola is planning to invest more than $60 million to build the world’s largest plastic bottle-to-bottle recycling plant and support recycling.

The investments are part of the company’s goal to recycle or reuse 100 percent of the company’s polyethylene terephthalate, PET, plastic bottles in the United States.

“We have set an ambitious goal to recycle or reuse all the plastic bottles we use in the United States market,” said Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America. “Our investments in recycling infrastructure, coupled with our work on sustainable package design, will help us reach this target.”

The Coca-Cola Company and United Resource Recovery Corporation will build the recycling plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The plant will produce approximately 100 million pounds of food-grade recycled PET plastic for reuse each year, the equivalent of producing nearly two billion 20-ounce Coca-Cola bottles.

The new Spartanburg plant will open in 2008 and will be fully operational in 2009. It is part of a continuing effort by Coca-Cola to support recycling in key markets. Coca-Cola also has invested in recycling facilities in Switzerland, Mexico, Austria and the Philippines.

Recycling plastic for reuse yields financial benefits, requires less energy than producing bottles with virgin materials, and reduces waste and greenhouse gases.

Over the next 10 years, the Spartanburg recycling plant is expected to eliminate the production of one million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions – the equivalent of removing 21,500 cars from the road.

Coca-Cola has been focused on PET recycling and reuse since introducing the first beverage bottle made with recycled material in 1991. Now the company uses recycled content in more than 17 countries, including the United States.

The company is also beginning to recover and recycle Coca-Cola packaging materials including PET, aluminum, cardboard and plastic film and plans to develop centralized recycling centers throughout the United States.